April 09, 2020

In non-Covid news, it’s chocolate season

In non-Covid news, it’s chocolate season
Dr. Chris Brown

Forget Coronavirus for just a second. With everyone staying home this Easter, there’s even more opportunity for an unofficial (and often late night) Easter egg hunt to occur. And while the message around chocolate being bad for pets has sunk in, the fear of your fur covered buddy consuming your foil covered bunny is now so extreme that many assume eating just one small piece can be fatal.

So before you go to pieces over chocolate this Easter, here are the facts.

Chocolate contains a compound called ‘theobromine’. It’s similar to caffeine. And is what gives you that ‘buzz’ when you eat lots of dark chocolate.
But the problem comes from the fact dogs (and cats) don’t handle that ‘buzz’ well. Too much of it and their nervous system goes a little haywire causing a fast heart rate, restlessness and in extreme cases, muscle tremors and seizures. Yes, just like me after half a coffee.

But while chocolate should NEVER EVER be given as a treat, one piece will not kill them. In fact, the amount of milk chocolate that your pet needs to down to experience problems is surprisingly high. Dark chocolate is a little more dangerous however. For example, a 5kg dog (Cavoodle size) eats his way to emergency by downing 250g of milk chocolate while just 80g of dark chocolate can cause major issues.

Even if they don’t eat a toxic amount, all that sugar and fat plays havoc with their little bodies anyway.
No matter the amounts, the advice is the same. Keep pets away from chocolate. After all, some things are too good to share.

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